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Published on Monday, April 23, 2018

Daybreak Returns to Villa

Daybreak and Villa are no strangers to each other. The  nationally  aired ABC "Come All Ye Faithful, Christmas Midnight Mass” was recorded at The Villa Maria Chapel, and some animation for the Daybreak documentary “Building a Basilica” was created in the classrooms in Villa.

Daybreak Productions is proud to be again working with Villa Maria College on a video to inform the public about the success of Villa's "Achieve Program" which focuses on helping students with learning differences.  Daybreak Productions recorded an all-day interview session at Villa Maria College interviewing students in the program, tutors, teachers and the director of the program, Melissa Zgliczynski.

In 2015, Zgliczynski noticed there was a clear need for support, “I noticed students getting frustrated because they wanted to meet expectations, but just couldn’t,” she said. “One tutoring session wasn’t enough to make an impact when challenges arose every class.”

Between entering a new environment, a schedule change, and an intense workload, the transition from high school to college can be difficult for the best of students. These challenges can be especially intimidating for students with learning differences, who may need more support than the average college student. From this observation, Villa’s Achieve Program was born.

In its third year, the Achieve Program has seen some impressive results, including an 80 percent retention rate, and part of that is due to the hands on training in the use of assistive technology.  Zgliczynski mentioned in her interview: “In the program our students have a variety of learning differences. The majority have learning disabilities such as dyslexia, ADHD, and autism. All the computers in our tutoring room have assistive technology. They have software that can read books, tests and webpages out loud to the students, and we also have technology that the students can dictate into the computer.” Zgliczynski mentions that constant communication and planning between the faculty, students, parents and directors have contributed to the program’s success.

Dr. Will Meyer, Assistant professor of Social Sciences at Villa Maria College expressed the uniqueness of the Achieve program; “There is no other program like this in Buffalo that would provide this kind of robust, carefully planned support for college students with learning disabilities.”

The video will be available on Villa Maria’s webpage to inform parents and students of the advantages of the Achieve program. 

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Author: George Richert

Categories: News